So I just finished reading this amazing book(I am not sure what I am supposed to write here, but I will give it a try).
These days when I pick a book, I do not read it’s description beforehand. I just buy it and read it. It is a risky business because there is a fair chance that I might not like the book at all. But it allows me to have a more genuine, interesting and spoiler free reading experience.
So what made me pick this one? The title, duh! (The book is available under one more title. It’s called My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologizes. But I find the one I got more interesting .)
When I read the title of this book, for some reason I imagined a girl trying to find someone she has to apologize to on behalf of her grandmother. The story was in fact similar yet very different. The protagonist of the story is a seven(eight) year old girl named Elsa who has this amazing relationship with her grandmother. But one day when her granny dies, she is left alone to deal with life as she tries to complete the “assignments” that Granny left for her.
It’s funny how I didn’t like most of the characters at the beginning but I ended up loving all of them(except Kent and Sam maybe). I found the characters, though little unrealistic, very deep and relate-able. Take Elsa for instance, she was charming and witty but seemed too wise for her age.I know it has been mentioned as one of the character traits, that she was indeed wise for her age. But I still find it a bit unrealistic(Not too much, just a teeny weeny bit that it doesn’t even count).
I liked the relationship between Elsa and Granny and how she used to tell her stories. I think it reminded me of how my Grandmother used to tell me stories when I was a little girl, way before I started reading. My first few stories came from her and then I just couldn’t stay away from them. I fell in love with the world of stories.
One more thing that I found interesting about this book was the fact that I couldn’t distinguish between Fantasy and reality. I thought it must be categorized under magical realism Genre, but it’s not. It just says Genre- Fantasy on all the websites. And I found it really odd. Now I am doubting my understanding of magical- realism, again!
Now coming to the most important thing, the quotes.
“Having a grandmother is like having an army. This is a grandchild’s ultimate privilege: knowing that someone is on your side, always, whatever the details.”
Like I said, I loved the relationship between Elsa and her granny. But this particular quote makes me feel sad, because I never had that kind of privilege. I never wished to have it either, not until I read this book.
“Death’s greatest power is not that it can make people die, but that it can make people want to stop living.
This quote is so genuine and beautiful that it makes you feel what the protagonist is feeling.It’s one thing to die, but not wanting to live is even worse. But that’s what death of a loved one does to you, because it’s difficult to be left behind.
“Elsa decides that even if people she likes have been shits on earlier occasions, she has to learn to carry on liking them. You’d quickly run out of people if you had to disqualify all those who at some point have been shits.”
I found this one really relate-able because I do this very often. I don’t judge people like that, but when I find out that they have done something(in past or present) that totally violates by belief system, it’s just difficult for me to look at them the same way. And like the protagonist of the story, I have come to realize that if I continue this there will no one left in my life.
“Granny then said the real trick of life was that almost no one is entirely a shit and almost no one is entirely not a shit. The hard part of life is keeping as much on the ‘not-a-shit’ side as one can.”
This quote just helps me make sense of the above theory. But like most of the things Granny nicked it from Harry Potter. Because Sirius Black said it first:
“We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.”
And then there is this one:
“People have to tell their stories, Elsa. Or they suffocate.”
I just can’t get over this quote. Because this is one thing that some people don’t understand and this is why most of us blog.
Someone once told me that this generation will never understand the meaning of privacy. They just put everything online and they don’t know what its like to have a private moment to themselves. But the thing is we do know it. And most of us are just trying to be understood, that’s all there is to it.